Figures released overnight show Japan's export levels have fallen 36.5% from a year earlier, declining further than the 35.7% recorded in the year to June. Plummeting sales of cars and electronic goods are responsible for the drop, as consumers cut their spending in the worst recession since WW2. While economic optimism is beginning to grow, most of the world's major economies remain shaky with unemployment continuing to rise.

Exports are a crucial part of the Japanese economy and though levels remain depressed, a recovery in exports is expected to drive growth, industrial production and GDP in future. The Japanese economy grew 3.7% in the second quarter and is expected to continue to grow in the third quarter of 2009.

In today's trading Japanese yen exchange rates have declined, currently trading at 153.02 against the pound, 134.39 against the euro and 94.18 per US dollar.

The rates quoted above are interbank rates. Client rates may vary according to the volume and timing of the trade.